(Reuters) - Italian tennis player Marco Cecchinato has been banned for 18 months and fined 40,000 euros ($44,024) for match-fixing, the Italian tennis federation has announced.
The 23-year-old, currently ranked 143 in the world, is one of three Italians to be banned, along with Riccardo Accardi and Antonio Campo.
Cecchinato was found guilty of altering the outcome of his match against Poland's Kamil Majchrzak at the ATP Challenger event in Morocco in October to benefit from illegal betting, and several other instances of sports corruption.
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Accardi was suspended for 12 months and fined 20,000 euros, while Campo has been banned for four months and given a 10,000 euro fine for their roles in attempts to fix matches.
"Cecchinato has altered... the results of his singles tennis match against Kamil Majchrzak at the ATP Challenger in Mohammedia in 2015, as well as his doubles match, played with Luca Vanni against Betov-Elgin, in the ATP Challenger in Prostejov, also in 2015," the Italian tennis federation said in a statement on Tuesday. (http://bit.ly/2atQjEI)
Vanni was fined 300 euros but escaped a ban.
"In addition to altering the results of those matches, Cecchinato was found guilty of giving confidential information about the upcoming match between Andreas Seppi and John Isner at the 2015 Roland Garros, and on a match of player Lorenzo Frigerio on the occasion of a Future ITF tournament," the statement added.
Cecchinato can appeal against the ruling, but will not be allowed to play until Jan. 17 2018 if his appeal is unsuccessful.
The European Sports Security Association (ESSA) said on Tuesday that tennis accounted for the majority of suspicious betting activity it had flagged up, with 34 incidents in the second quarter of 2016.
(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru,; Editing by Neville Dalton)